Making It Harder to Choose
July 2nd, 2009
The task of finding a good New York City school just became more difficult — and that has nothing to do with the demise of mayoral control of schools or what the new Board of Education did or did not do yesterday. InsideSchools, the premier source of information of each and every New York City public school, has announced that it is sharply cutting back its operations because of funding problems. Fortunately, it will not shut down completely, but in a post today editor Pamela Wheaton said, “We have had to let go some of our gifted and committed staff members. And given our severely constrained financial circumstances, we will be curtailing some of our features.”
For those of you not familiar with the Website, it provides an array of independent information on New York City schools, far easier to navigate and understand — and dare we say more reliable — than the Department of Education’s material. InsideSchools reporters visit and spend a substantial amount of time at every school they write about. And the site includes a good blog on education issues as well as pointers on the choice process, gifted programs and so on.
As a parent, I relied heavily on InsideSchools when selecting schools for my two children. New York City parents will find it immeasurably more difficult to make good choices for their kids without InsideSchools. As someone who writes often on education, I used InsideSchools as a resource and always found the information useful and accurate.
Finally, to conclude what obviously is more opinionated post than the Wonkster usually indulges in, the difficulties confronting InsideSchools serve as a reminder that the woes facing journalism extend to online publications and non profits as well as to print for profit newspapers and magazines — and that providing high quality material offers no guarantee of survival. These are tough time for all non-profits and for issue-oriented journalism. If any of us – including Gotham Gazette are to survive and thrive, readers who value this type of material will have to help.By Gail Robinson on July 2, 2009, 1:15 pm
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